Archaeology Magazine Archive

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Index of Newsbriefs Volume 49 Number 3, May/June 1996

Click on the title of a newsbrief to see the full text.

Romans in Ireland? Scholars have discounted as "nonsense" and "wild speculation" a report in the Sunday Times of London that the Romans invaded Ireland.
New Texts from Qumran Three ostraca, one inscribed with 16 lines of Hebrew text from the first century A.D., have been found in Qumran, Israel. This is the first textual material discovered at the site since the Dead Sea Scrolls were found there in 1947.
Yaws Origin Analysis of Homo erectus skeletal remains suggests the disease yaws had its origins in Middle Pleistocene Africa 1.5 million years ago. Before now the earliest known evidence of the bacterial affliction was a skeleton from the Mariana Islands in the Pacific dated ca. A.D. 850.
Oldest Human DNA Isolated A French geneticist has succeeded in extracting DNA from a piece of 12,000-year-old bone found at the Taforalt site in western Morocco. The oldest DNA previously isolated by scientists came from 8,000-year-old Egyptian mummies.
Largest, Heaviest Book A German China specialist has brought to light the largest and heaviest book in the world, nearly 14,300 stone tablets inscribed with Buddhist scriptures found in caves near the Yunju monastery.
Chalcolithic Cache A 6,500-year-old burial cave has been discovered in Galilee in northern Israel.
Medicinal Myrrh A team of chemists and pharmacologists at the University of Florence in Italy report that two compounds of myrrh, used since ancient times in incense, perfume, and as a painkiller, do indeed have pain-relieving properties.
Mycenaean Jewelry
Goes Home
The return of some 50 Mycenaean artifacts to Greece was marked by a repatriation ceremony in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Building in Washington. The objects are believed to have been plundered, probably in 1978, from one or more tombs at Aidonia, a site near Nemea in southern Greece.
Jade Shroud Found A magnificent shroud of 4,000 wafer-thin jade plaques, sewn with gold thread and decorated with gold flowers and buttons, has been found in a rock-cut tomb in eastern Jiangsu Province.
Field Notes Arrests in Iran; Tibetan Cave Find; Stupa Conservation; Lucy was a Guy?; Dining al Fresco; Pre-Taíno Culture

© 1996 by the Archaeological Institute of America